[5th Allotted Day]

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Act – in the House of Commons at 3:21 pm on 9th January 2019.

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Photo of Keir Starmer Keir Starmer Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 3:21 pm, 9th January 2019

I will just crack on.

What we see from this document is that the envisaged future relationship will not deliver frictionless trade; it does not aspire to any more. There is no plan for a permanent customs union and no certainty for financial services. In fact, there is almost nothing for financial services. On workplace rights and environmental protections, there is nothing to ensure that standards do not fall behind over time. No wonder the general secretary of the TUC said:

“This is a bad deal for working people: bad for jobs and bad for rights.”

It also places us outside a whole raft of common EU programmes and agencies. Again, much of that flows directly from the Prime Minister’s insistence that there should be no role whatever for the European Court. She put that red line down, and once she had done so, any meaningful participation in those bodies became very difficult.

For five years, I was the representative of the UK in Eurojust, which, as the House will know, plays an important part in the investigation and prosecution of very serious offences across Europe, as do other agencies. In order to have the full participation that makes sense, we have to accept the oversight and enforcement mechanisms that go with it, but the red line made it impossible and led to such a thin document as this.